Merici - Ursula Hall Academic Journal: Volume 2, 2016
It is fitting that I should be the editor of the Merici, Ursula Hall Academic Journal, in my last year as an undergraduate. In truth, I have only the first six months of 2017 to bask in the glory of not being officially qualified before I go into the world and stumble my way through the fog of adulthood.
In this introduction, I wanted to reflect briefly on my time here, in an attempt to place this journal in some kind of context. Please indulge me this small narcissism.
When I came to Canberra from Melbourne, I thought I was escaping a bubble. I could count on one hand the amount of people who left Melbourne after high school, and it seemed to me that, fine city that it is, a world exists outside of the CBD tram network.
I realise now that I exchanged one bubble for another: the latte-sipping hipster barbers in Degraves Street for the disgruntled civil servants chomping on avo toast in New Acton. Even when we find ourselves in bubbles, we have the choice to look outside them.
This is a roundabout way of saying that Merici shows something outside of the bubbles where we live. Some of us, indeed, may spend our lives in Canberra, or Sydney, or Melbourne. But our university studies will always leave us with a curiosity for what lies beyond our immediate surroundings.
In this volume, I have attempted to collect a series of pieces that show the diversity of experience here at Ursula Hall. These papers have earned my deep admiration for both performing very well and also demonstrating a passion for the discipline in question.
Ultimately, the celebration of learning is something that is, surprisingly, uncommon at university. When people list their accomplishments, they start first with their advocacy, their stupol positions, their sports teams. These are all admirable, and I hope Merici can complement such experiences.
Merici gives students an opportunity to show their peers why they are here. What it is about their studies that makes them stay up all night writing that essay. Why they recede into a trance-like fugue state when exam period comes around.
Due to time and space constraints, exacerbated by exam period, I was unable to put every essay that I received into this volume, though I did have the pleasure of reading them all.
All that is left is to express my deep gratitude to all those who made Merici possible this year. To those who submitted pieces, thank you for sharing your fine work. To those who helped me with the copyediting process, thanks for devoting yourselves during the busy exam period.
Thanks to those who refereed the work at short notice. Thanks to Henry, last year’s editor, for providing me with all his information and, of course, for having the idea to start Merici in the first place!
2016 Merici Editor